Category Archives: Hardin Family

Charles Jackson Hardin

Charles Jackson Hardin was born on March 5, 1892 in Graysville, Alabama. The fact that Graysville started out being called Gin Town because Graysville had the only cotton gin for miles made me laugh. I guess that is where my grandfather got a taste for alcohol. His father was Alfred Jackson Hardin and his mother was Georgia Tallulah Young.


Charles is on the left. Fun hair, right?

Alfred Hardin had been previously married to a woman by the name of Martha Bivens. Together they had three sons. William Lenox (WL) Hardin, born 1879, Issac Luther Hardin born in 1881 and Samuel Hardin born on 14th of May, 1883. Martha Bivens Hardin died on the 29th of May, 1883, two short weeks after her child’s birth. Samuel died five years later in 1888.

Alfred Hardin married Georgia Tallulah Young in 1891 and she inherited two young boys. Charles Jackson was their first child born a year later in 1892.



Charles’s subsequent siblings were Moses, Esther, Ida, Thelma, Gracie Ann, Tom and Felix, who was called Bryan.


In 1900, the family still lived in Graysville, AL and Alfred working as a farmer. His two oldest sons, WL and Issac were working as farm laborers.


By 1910, they had moved to Massy and Lacon Road in Morgan County, AL and were still running a farm. Charlie was 18 and helping his father on the farm.


I didn’t get to meet my grandfather. I will get to that part shortly. However, in 1977 my parents took me and Jackie on a trip across the US heading to Florida. In Birmingham, AL we stopped and spent the night with my Great Uncle Bryan and Great Aunt Lilly. Uncle Bryan took us out to the cemetery and as we were walking through, Uncle Bryan points to a grave and says, “That’s Charlie’s first wife.” I was shocked. I didn’t know Grandpa had been married before. What do you want to bet that the picture above where it has been cut out from a larger picture included his ex-wife? I can see the slightest hint of a black dress next to his shoulder.


So, Charles Hardin had married a woman by the name of Serepta Viola Wilhite. I had no other information other than that Charlie had been married to her. I assumed she must have died before he married Grandma Flora. Nope. She died in 1976, the year before we visited. I was shocked (it didn’t take a lot to shock me at that point). I found that on the 1920 census, Viola Wilhite was listed as a “widow”. That made me laugh. I thought, hm, history revisionist? Lol. My guess is that Charles was married to her sometime in between 1911-1915. Married and divorced. I don’t have any other information than that.

By June 5, 1917 Charles is living in Covington, Kentucky and working as a Clerk at Adams Exploration Company. He was single when he signed up for the WWI draft. He is listed as having a bad ankle.



On June 21, 1921 Charles Jackson Hardin took a bride, one Flora Mae Burgess. He was 29 years old, Flora just 19 years old. I suspect she was swept off her feet. She had been living in Tulsa, OK working at an office and living as a border in a home. I think she must have longed to have a “real home” and a “real family”, a symptom of having been raised without a mother since the age of eight. They were married on the same day as a race riot had erupted in Tulsa.

Flora on her wedding day, on the left
Tulsa History

Grandpa Hardin was already working for the railroad. He held several jobs with the railroad and they traveled by railroad during their married lives.


Charles and Flora, traveling by train with their grandchildren, Robert Condit, Sally and Sam Kosich
Train pass for CJ and wife, Western Pacific RR

One month into their marriage, Flora and Charles were living in the Killmer Apartments in West Tulsa, OK when they received a knock at their door in the middle of the night and Flora was informed that she would be one of 21 heirs to inherit a fortune.


The Tulsa Tribune and my grandparents on the cover

So, although the article makes a big proclamation that my grandparents were to live on Easy Street, that was not to be. Flora’s Grandmother was descended from a Texas family who had owned property where oil was discovered. I can only imagine that it rocked their marriage early. You can see from the article that he was employed as a Switchman for the Frisco road in West Tulsa and Flora was the Credit Manager at Hunt’s Store. To me, the sweetest part of the article is what their dream was…to move to Texas and buy a ranch, raising cattle and hogs. A real country life! But first, they were going to buy a car and drive to Alabama to visit his family.

They do not make it to Easy Street, but they do make it to Texas. Just in time for the Dust Bowl. But first, they moved to Colorado. A year later, in June of 1922, Charles Jackson Hardin Jr. was born. He was a pretty baby and Grandpa Hardin must have been so happy with him.



But his dear little life wasn’t to be, either. Grandma Flora was already pregnant with my Aunt Kay when Junior died at 15 months old. I cannot fathom how hard it would have been to lose their baby, but Grandma Flora used to walk, every day, a mile to the cemetery and a mile home, crying all the way. This had to have had a lasting effect on their marriage and on their home life.

CJ Hardin, Jr. and Sr.
Denver, Colorado (P.S. in the 1920’s not enough money for them to buy this headstone. That was added in the 1990’s by Timothy Jacques, Ruby’s husband and Charles’ son-in-law as a surprise for Ruby, who hated that her brother didn’t have a headstone).
The little family persevered. In the 1920’s he continued working for the railroad. By 1930, they were living in Borger, Texas, had two daughters, Kathleen and Virginia. Flora had their last child, Ruby Mae Hardin on February 9, 1930.





So while they lived from state to state (Virginia was born in Washington State), Charles made several trips to visit his family in Alabama. You can tell from these pictures he must have been very adored in his family and felt very close to them. I think Flora really longed for a large family with lots of people to love.

Hardin clan
Taken between 1926 and 1927, Tom holding child, Charles, Uncle Bryan and first wife, holding Virginia, then most likely a brother and a sister then his father and front row is Kathleen, a male cousin, Lula and her mother, Mary Young.

Esther, Thelma, Charlie, Ida and Grace Hardin
Tom, Issac, Bryan and Charlie

Esther, Lula, Charles and Bryan Hardin
Etta Trapp, Jack Trapp and Charles Hardin, first cousins


In the midst of the depression, they were living in New Mexico and had very little to spare. Relatives Jack and Etta Trapp (Jack’s mother, Eugenia and Charles’ mother Lula were sisters) had been told that there were jobs in California as well as food and sunshine. They decided to move together. Etta Trapp’s sister, Cora and Carl Smithers had already moved to California so there was a safe place to land. My mother said her father drove them to California in his Model T.

Cora and Carl Smithers
Upon arrival in California, the family camped underneath the Woodson Bridge in Corning. My mother, while embarrassed that they had been homeless when they arrived, said that everyone was doing that, camping out. She returned to the bridge when she was married and living in the area.



Charles, Virginia, Ruby, Kay and Flora in the California sunshine, holding a fresh picked orange

So while Charles never again lived in Alabama or near his family, he found ways to keep them close. His brother Bryan made numerous trips to California and spent vacations and miles on the road with Flora and Charles. They became really close.

Charles, Flora, Lilly and Bryan
Bryan, Flora, Charles traveling by train, Stockton, CA


Bryan, Lilly, Charles on Carpenter Road, Stockton, CA


Charles, sister Thelma, Ed Holmes

Flora and Charles moved to a number of California cities, including Yuba City, Fresno and finally Stockton. They lived on Sierra Nevada, Alpine Avenue and Carpenter Road. My grandfather built the house on Alpine. He also helped build the house on Carpenter Road. Charles worked for several train lines including the Southern Pacific RR, Western Pacific RR, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe RR.

While Charles worked to make a living for his family, there was another side of him that Flora must have had a difficult time with. He liked to drink and he smoked a pipe or cigar. He also liked to hang out at the bar. While Flora was busy going from church to church (always looking for a home), Charles liked to hang out at a bar, watch baseball and have a drink.


Dick Paulson, Charles, Kay, Jubie holding Tim Jr., Tim holding Cammie, Ray, Jeannie, (front row Sam, Sally, Cindy and Bobby)

Their marriage wasn’t easy and at one point they split up. It makes me sad but I can’t judge either of them. I am sure Flora wasn’t easy to live with and at times Charles wasn’t working. I think it is often a decision to marry in haste that comes home to roost. But those are the facts, you can’t change them.

My mother enjoyed a special relationship with her father. She was the apple of his eye. He was the one that called her Jubie and her name fit. He loved her as greatly as he could and she was devoted to him.


Charles and Jubie
I wish I had known him. I have to be satisfied that my mother always said I had a big heart, just like my Grandpa Hardin and that he would have loved me. I was very close to my Uncle Bryan and my mother used to say if she closed her eyes, listening to Uncle Bryan talk was like listening to Grandpa Hardin. That slow southern drawl must have stayed with him. Hard to miss something you never had, but that is something I missed out on, having a grandfather that I could have been close to.

I think Grandpa Hardin was a genial sort of guy. He was a guy that you could sit and have a drink with and chat about sports. I know my dad liked him. Charles Hardin died of a heart attack on December 29, 1960. Three of the barmaids from the bar that he frequented attended his funeral. That probably didn’t sit well with Flora, but Charles went out loved by all sorts of people.

Charles Jackson Hardin


The Tulsa History Center allowed me to use the page from the Race Riot on their website…to learn more, you can find them here





Virginia Lois Hardin Kosich

Virginia Lois Hardin was born on April 13, 1926. She was born the middle child of Flora Burgess and Charles J. Hardin.


Baby aunt jean

This picture was taken in Alabama. Aunt Jean is the baby in the top row, fourth from the left. These are some of Grandpa Hardin’s siblings, his parents, grandparents and the little girl standing on the far left is Aunt Kay.

She must have been a charmer as a baby and she was a charmer her entire life.

Aunt Jean at about 4

Aunt Jean is on the left, my momma in the middle and Aunt Kay on the right.

She was born in Washington State and as her father worked for the railroad, they moved a lot. Her younger sister Jubie was born in Texas before they lived in New Mexico. By about 1935, in the midst of the Great Depression, they moved in their Touring Dodge to California. They moved out with two other families, the Coates family and the McDonald family. They all came to California because Grandpa Hardin had cousins, Jack and Etta Trapp, who were already living in there. They moved to Corning.

april 7, 1936 Hardin girls

Jeannie, Jubie and Kay

Those girls must have been very excited to leave the dust bowl behind. The 1930’s was a period of time when severe dust storms damaged the agriculture on the prairies in middle America and over two hundred thousand people came to California. Because so many people were flooding in, many camped wherever they could until they were able to get established. For the Hardins, it was underneath Woodson Bridge. Now this area is a State Park but in the 1930’s, everyone just camped next to the river.

Aunt Jean and mom

Jeannie always made everything fun. Jubie would say it didn’t matter what Jeannie had to do, she would make a game of it and Jubie grew up very close to her sister.

Hardin family

Charles, Flora, Jeannie and Jubie

They lived in Corning for three years, then the family moved to Yuba City. They were there for about three years too, then to Fresno for a couple more. At that point, her older sister Kay went off to boarding school and it was just Jeannie and Jubie at home. They moved to Riverdale where her father gave a try at farming cotton and alfalfa. After, her mother bought a house in Fresno. It was the first house the family had owned.

The girls were allowed to travel by train alone and, well, it’s probably best if Jubie tells you about it.

Jubie thought Jeannie knew everything there was to know about life and how to work it to her advantage. Needless to say, Jubie learned a lot from her.

Hardins plus one

Charles, Kay, Flora, Jubie, Bob Condit and Jeannie

Jeannie got married in 1943 at the tender age of 17 to Bob Condit and she stayed with him until she was 19. Her first child, Robert Charles Condit was born on July 18, 1945. Bob Condit got out of the service on a medical discharge and he wanted to move Jeannie back to Iowa. Jeannie stayed there for about six months before she and Bobby came home. She never went back and she and Bob divorced.

When Grandma Flora moved to Stockton, Jeannie came here too. Bobby was just a little kid when Grandma started watching him. Grandpa Hardin was working at the railroad. When Grandma Flora wanted to go back to work, they thought she was too old to hire as a secretary and that is when she got into the Shaklee business.


Raymond Kosich was born on January 24, 1923 in Oakland, CA to Sam and Eva Kosich. Sam Kosich was born in Yugoslavia and Eva’s family was from Sutter Creek, CA.

Uncle Ray - Mar 1931

Ray Kosich, 1931

I am very fortunate that my cousin Jim shared with me all of the history, photographs and everything he had of his fathers. When I look at Uncle Ray as a child, he looks just like my cousins Sam and John.

Ray’s father was the Manager of Tiny’s Waffle House, located at 27 N. Sutter Street in Stockton.


They were a very old-time Stockton couple, back when Stockton was in its heyday. He was an only child and very adored. Uncle Ray attended University of the Pacific in 1943 and became a member of Omega Phi Alpha

Uncle Ray's Fraternity - 1942.jpg

Ray enlisted in the Finance Department of the US Army on November 27, 1942 at the age of 19 and he received a Bronze star

Then Private R.S. Kosich

Uncle Ray's Bronze Star ++


Jeanie and Ray married on October 18, 1948 in Carson City, Nevada. Their first baby, Sallie Jean Kosich, was born on September 6, 1949, the same year Big Sam Kosich, Ray’s father, passed away.

Sallie Jean

Ray took over at Tiny’s Waffle Shop and they moved to 3 East McKenzie where they would live for the rest of their married life. They had so many families that the Kosich kids grew up with including the Jacksons (I thought they were our family too because their last name was so close), the Stovers and the Whittens. Their entire lives revolved around that street and those kids could walk into every house in the neighborhood and be treated just like they were family.

Jeannie, then Jeannie, Jubie, Sallie and Bobby and Jeannie holding Sallie

Ray eventually bought the restaurant and on October 11th, 1952 Samuel Raymond Kosich was born.

Jeanie, bobby sallie and sam at train station

Bobby, Sallie, Sam and Jeannie

Ray eventually opened a private investigation business along with Jeannie and they worked cases together.

Aunt Jean at dinner - 1969ish maybe..

Aunt Jean and Uncle Ray circa 1967

This is Uncle Ray and Aunt Jean in the front yard of 3 East McKenzie.

Aunt Jean and Uncle Ray patiently waiting for Sam to pose

Sam, Jeannie and Ray

James Randall Kosich was born on July 30, 1960 and John Steven Kosich was born on December 9, 1961, forever to be called the little boys.

Hardin family picture

Uncle Ray holding Johnny, Sally, Bobby, Cindy, Uncle Dick, Daddy, then Aunt Jean holding Jimmy, Sam, Grandma Flora, Kevin and Kendall Paulsen held by Aunt Kay then Momma holding Jackie and Laurie, Cammie and Timmy.

Aunt Jean

Aunt Jean is so stylish here, just beautiful!

Uncle Ray and JohnnyUncle Ray admiring little Johnny

Aunt Jean at Grandma Flora's house Feb 1962 - at Grandma pompom's

Dinner at Flora’s house.


Hardin family again

Aunt Kay, Uncle Dick, Bobby, Cindy, Flora, Charles, Ray, Jeannie, Sallie, Sam, Tim, Jubie Cammie and Timmy taken at Kay’s house warming.

me and uncle ray

Me and Uncle Ray when I was about a year and a half.

Hardin family picture last

This is one of the last pictures of our family. It is very blurry but also precious at the same time. Ray Kosich died on May 2, 1971 at the age of 48 from a heart attack. To say that he was gone too soon would be an understatement and his leaving left a void in their family too great to comprehend.  My cousin John recently spoke about his brother Sam coming to tell him and Jim, ages 10 and 11, that their father had died and how difficult it was and how much Sam tried to step in for his father to be a great big brother to them.

There are times in life when it would be so nice to be able to hit a pause button, to be able to stop where we are and hold those that we love close and refuse to let those moments turn into memories.

Jeannie moved closer to her mother in Nevada City, CA and the boys (can’t help myself) went to school there before moving to San Jose, closer to her sister Jubie. It was difficult for Jeannie and she gave of herself to the best of her ability.


aunt jean 1

I always think of my Aunt Jean when I watch the movie Terms of Endearment. In one of the last scenes of the movie, the character played by Shirley MacClaine, starts ranting until the nurse gives her daughter the shot of morphine. If there was something that seemed impossible to do, Aunt Jean would be the person to get it accomplished. She could talk her way into and out of situations that would have bent the spine of a lesser person.

My favorite Aunt Jean story is when she came to the house one time and really wanted to help Jubie so she let Jeanie make the biscuits for breakfast. We get to the breakfast table, the biscuits looked hard and terrible and my dad says, “Jub, what in the hell did you do to the biscuits?” Momma gave him a look and said we’ll talk about it later. He was so used to my mother’s cooking he didn’t like when anyone else cooked but especially biscuits. Dad couldn’t let it go. and finally my mother had to say Jeannie made the biscuits and everyone just laughed. Aunt Jean didn’t really inherit the cooking genes like Jubie did.

We stayed very close to our cousins and so much of our shared childhood. It was often a game of “Got You Last” or if the “Kosich Brats” went to get flu shots with the “Jacques’ Brats” and Johnny fainting when he got his shot will always leave a lasting memory. Driving up to Grandma Flora’s house and praying all the way that it would snow (the next morning it snowed so much there was a faint line of green where my parent’s car had been). Sitting next to each other at the children’s table and then having to wait while Grandma or Pappy said the blessing and wondering who would laugh first before they finished. Sleeping in the tee pee that Grandma had made for us then having to sleep in the house because Johnny was afraid. (Oh yes, Johnny will say it wasn’t him but trust me, he was too afraid for sleeping outside of Grandma’s house).

Virginia Lois Kosich passed away on October 14, 1990 and is buried at Cherokee Memorial Cemetery.

We got together when my cousin Bobby passed away in Iowa on September 27, 2003 and we remaining kids had a dinner to honor his memory.

Kosich brats

Johnny, Laurie, myself, Sam, Jim, Jackie and Tim at that event.


Kosich brats and dad

Jim, Mary, Little Johnny, Amanda, Allison, Dad, Jake, Donna and John on my dad’s 75th birthday.

My cousin Jim had married a lovely girl by the name of Mary and had two beautiful girls, Amanda and Jennifer. He passed away way too early in 2012 at the age of 52.  He wrote to me in 2009 because he had found a picture of Grandma Flora on my page and he said he just knew it had to be me that had put that up. I laughed and he began to share that he was starting to do some research on his Grandma Eva’s heritage and then he sent me all of the photographs of Uncle Ray on this page along with the recording of his father. I am so glad he shared that with me and I will continue to research some of Eva’s heritage for him.

Jim and Mary

My cousin Sally still lives here in Stockton, is married, and has two sons and 4 grandchildren.

Sallie jean two

Johnny is also married, lives in Stockton and has three children: John Jr., Allison and Jake.

John's family

jackie and john

Jackie and Johnny

Last year I helped my cousin Sam get his Native American I.D. card and saw him several times throughout the year. He passed away unexpectedly in July of 2015. It was so sudden and I just wasn’t prepared to have him leave us so soon.


Sam and his best friend Shiela

Virginia Lois Kosich and Raymond Samuel Kosich left a lasting legacy. Humans struggle with life and they were no different but they produced great children and as far as I can see their grandchildren are going to be spectacular people and it will go on and on.


Happy Veteran’s Day

Before I start, I just have to say happy first anniversary to my blog. I was so surprised that it had been a year since I had started writing it. I have made friends and relatives that I would never have met if it weren’t for this blog and I have enjoyed it immensely.  I look forward to the coming year and getting to know more of our ancestors.

It fills me with pride to bring you our family Veteran’s post 2014.

We thank each and every veteran from the bottom of our hearts for your service, sacrifice and we salute you!

Timothy Celestino Jacques – WWII


In 1942, Timothy enlisted at the age of 15 into the Merchant Marines with his mother’s permission. I don’t know about anyone else but I have a tough time letting my teen son go to the store alone, so Tonita must have been terrified and yet confident at the same time. Of course, my dad would say he was already grown at the age of 15.

papa 001 papa1 001

This is one of the training schools he attended. As you can see, he was at the top of his class. Dad said his brothers and his brother in law Sam Saiz taught him everything about being a mechanic.

After the Merchant Marines, he joined the Army. He went through basic then traveled to Japan and Australia. He was undecided when his last tour was up if he would re-sign or if he would return to his home in Stockton. He finally decided to leave the army and the following month the unit he had been with left for Korea. Thanks, Daddy, for your service.

Gregory L. Quintana – Vietnam


My father and Greg’s mother, Viola Springall, were double first cousins. Most of the people on my tree that I talk about are deceased. However, I really wanted to include Greg. He served from 1966 to 1971 in the United States Air Force and was in Vietnam in 1968. I am glad you are not just a leaf on our tree and that we can say, “Thank you for your Service.”

Valentin Archuleta – WWII


He and my father were also double first cousins (and a brother to Viola). He, too, served in WWII. This article is from the Farmington Times and was published on August 21, 2009.
FARMINGTON — Telesforo “Archie” Archuleta was a survivor. But to his family and friends, he also was a hero.

The Blanco resident witnessed some of history’s most famous and horrific events.

He not only survived the Battle of Bataan, the Bataan Death March and 40 months as a prisoner of war of the Japanese army during World War II, but he helped others to survive.

Archuleta, 94, died peacefully Thursday at home in Blanco.

Born on Nov. 5, 1914, Archuleta was raised on a ranch in Blanco.

His mother died when he was 14 years old and he left school to care for his younger siblings.

Archuleta entered the U.S. Army on Nov. 21, 1941, and was assigned to Battery G 200th Coast Artillery, as part of the Asiatic Pacific Theater.

He was a member of a Coast Artillery gun crew and received two campaign stars for operations in the Pacific theater.

He was captured by the Japanese during the three-month Battle of Bataan and became a prisoner of war.

Archuleta was forced to march 60 miles along the peninsula to prison camps during The Bataan Death March in 1942.

He was sent on a “hell ship” from the Philippines to Japan to mine ore and coal for the Japanese war effort because he was one of the stronger prisoners.

Approximately 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war captured by the Japanese were forced to march.

The article continues

Approximately 1,800 men from New Mexico were sent to the Philippines and 900 survived the battle for Bataan, the death march and the months spent in prisoner of war camps.

“He survived because

he said he had to keep

the younger boys alive,” Archuleta’s daughter Caroline Poore said.

Archuleta returned from the war in 1945.

When his sisters went to The Presidio in San Francisco after Archuleta arrived on a ship, they couldn’t find him even though officials ensured them he was there.

“He was so decimated and sick, they didn’t recognize their own brother,” Poore said. A man who averaged 150 to 160 pounds only weighed 78 pounds when he was rescued.

Archuleta recuperated enough to come home to Blanco and marry Tonita Archuleta on Dec. 3, 1945, before he was sent to a hospital in San Antonio to continue his recovery.

He suffered hearing loss from continued beatings to his head and balance problems, Poore said. He dealt with starvation and suffered every disease from dysentery to malaria while a POW.

He never spoke of his time in the prison camp or about the horrors he witnessed during the war.

It wasn’t until years later that his family learned about his heroic efforts.

Charlie Sanchez, a fellow POW, told the family on Archuleta’s 50th wedding anniversary, how his life was saved on the hell ship.

The ships were packed so tightly and there was no air, water or food. If a man slipped and fell down, he would get suffocated, Poore said.

“Dad tied (Sanchez’s) belt to his own and held him up throughout the trip,” Poore said.

Poore and her sister, Erlinda Miller, recalled another story of Archuleta helping another prisoner.

Many of the men who worked in the mines didn’t have shoes. Often they would suffer from frostbite and gangrene and eventually die.

Archuleta would weather proof his shoes with ball joint grease and, as he walked out of the mines, he would slip his shoes to fellow prisoner Pat Boone, who didn’t have any, Poore said

He kept the stories to himself, his daughters said.

“One summer, when we were kids and complaining about what we were eating, my father slammed his hands on the table making the plates jump,” Miller said.

“Listen here,’ my dad said, if you ever had to eat a rat, you would never complain about what you had to eat,'” Miller said.

Archuleta returned a quiet man who had high morals and standards, his daughter said.

“He was a very strong person and a very strong willed person,” Poore said. “He always worked hard his whole life.”

Now that is an amazing story and I am so proud to have that person on my tree. Thank you for your service.

Onofre Reyes Jaquez WWI


Onofre Reyes Jaquez trained at Camp Kearny in San Diego, CA and also trained in Camp Funston in Junction City, Kansas. Thank you for your service.

Jobe Douglas Hardin – American Civil War


Job Hardin is a brother to Ambers Hardin, who was my grandfather Charles Hardin’s great uncle. He served in the 40th Alabama Regiment as a Private in Company K and participated in the Battle of Vicksburg. Thank you for your service.

Peter Dunkin – Revolutionary War


Peter Dunkin is a grandfather to Mary Elizabeth Dunkin and a great-great grandfather to Charles Hardin. He served in the 10th Regiment of Sargent Sharp’s Company. Thank you for your service.

This is just the tip of the ice berg. There are many heroes who sacrificed their time and in some cases their lives to continue the way of life that we have carved out, one day at a time. To the many women and men who have served more recently, please stay safe and Thank you for your service.

Our Irish Link – Mary Elizabeth Dunkin Young

Mary Elizabeth Duncan Young

Leaving our Native American heritage for a moment, I am going to pick up with Mary Elizabeth Duncan Young, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

Mary Elizabeth Dunkin Young

She is otherwise known as Grandma Young, according to Great Uncle Brian.

Uncle Brian and momma

When I was twelve, we (me and Jackie, just for clarity’s sake, although whenever I say we it is always me and Jackie!) traveled to Alabama with Momma and Daddy. We were on a trip to Florida to visit my Aunt Fran and Uncle Don. Not relatives, but an Aunt and Uncle just the same. We stopped in Alabama to spend the night. My mother had the very Irish appearance of red hair, bright blue eyes and freckles. She also had alabaster skin and no Native American blood seemed to have touched her. Her Irish blood came through loud and clear. On this trip, we stayed with Uncle Brian and Aunt Lilly. Uncle Brian took us to meet his brother, Uncle Tom, but before that, we made a trip to the cemetery. My father would make driving through a cemetery fun. We would read the headstones as we went and I would think about the people who were buried there, what their lives were like, who they were and how you could encapsulate a lifetime in a few words on a stone. No wonder I grew up to appreciate a good cemetery trip the way I do.

Anyway, while we were in Alabama we stopped at the cemetery to visit Grandma Young.

Mary Young

She was born June 30, 1843 in Bacon Level, Alabama. According to her Civil War Pension record her father’s name was spelled John S. Dunkin. She was married to George Washington Young (he was called G.W. and it must have been a popular name during that time) and by the time the Civil War rolls around, she was married and a mother. Her husband served in the Civil War in Georgia. She went on to raise 7 children over a span of 15 years.

When I got my results back from my DNA test, I had almost 400 matches to sift through. I found a match for three people who are matches to each other and to myself. The best family line that seems to match all four of us is the Duncan (Dunkin) line. John S. Duncan (Dunkin) is the son of a Peter and Margaret Dunkin. They moved from South Carolina to Coweta, GA between 1812 and 1828 and (pausing here for dramatic effect…) John S. Duncan won land in the Cherokee Land Lottery. In the 1870 Census, John S. Dunkin is listed as a wagon maker and working with Reason Mobley, brother of his wife, Lucretia Duncan.

Now, where was Benjamin Marshall from? Coweta, Georgia, you say? Always the damn Indians! So, one side of my heritage prospered from the other side’s misery. John S. Dunkin married Elizabeth Mobley in 1825 and in the 1832 Cherokee Land Lottery, he was the winner. The poor Marshall family was not the winner.

Back in Alabama to finish the cemetery story, my dad saw a man climb into a pick up truck and drive away from the cemetery as we arrived. After we visited the graves and Grandma Young, Uncle Brian took us to visit Uncle Tom. As soon as we pulled up to Uncle Tom’s house my dad said he had just seen that pick up leave the cemetery as we arrived and didn’t know it was Uncle Tom. So Grandma Young was as big a draw at the cemetery as she was in life.

Hardin clan

The youngest child standing on the left in front is my Aunt Kay,  then Grandma Lula Hardin and next to her is Grandma Young. The first man on the left, holding the small child is Great Uncle Tom, then my Grandpa Hardin, then next is Great Uncle Brian’s first wife, Marnie holding my Aunt Jean, then my Great Uncle Brian and at the end of the standing row is Alfred Hardin.

When I look at Grandma Lula (Mary’s daughter), I picture my mother’s face. So when I look at Mary’s picture, I can see her with red hair and bright blue eyes.

So, even though my daughter doesn’t believe that she is Irish (her coloring tends to favor the Native American/Hispanic in her genes)  this is how it works:

Hailey J. Marie Bennett

Yvonne Annette Jacques-Bennett

Ruby May Hardin

Charles Jackson Hardin

Georgia Tallulah Young Hardin

Mary Elizabeth Dunkin Young

See, Hailey, our Irish heritage is right there, on the tree, between the leaves, plain for everyone to see.

My momma favored her Grandma Lula and Grandma Lula looked just like Mary Elizabeth Dunkin Young.


It’s in the genes.